Regulatory compliance investigations involving high volumes of documents, regularly have to go through a series of methods in order to determine which materials are most pertinent to the case. Much of this is done through eDiscovery. With FCPA and anti-bribery and corruption standards increasing, the need for foreign language translation and eDiscovery to work in conjunction is evident.
Translation and eDiscovery in Compliance
As compliance professionals and C-Suite executives of acquisition-minded corporations know all too well, the year that has passed since the publication of the Yates Memo (and clarifications) has arguably been the most consequential in the nearly 40-year history of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. From the release of the Panama Papers and the spotlight that it shined on the thorny issue of ‘Beneficial Ownership’, to the FBI’s 50% increase in its budget devoted to FCPA enforcement, and to the DOJ’s strengthening of its cooperation with its international counterparts in information sharing, there has been a steady stream of developments in the anti-bribery realm which have sent an unmistakable signal to American companies and individuals who do business overseas: Get your collective houses in order. That the amount of fines for FCPA violations levied by the SEC and the DOJ for the first half of 2016 exceeded that for all of 2015, proves that these and other governmental enforcement measures were not merely for show.
But, along with a punitive assortment of sticks, the DOJ – in the spirit of the Yates Memo’s subsequent clarifications regarding corporate ‘cooperation credits’ – has also thrown in a few carrots to assist companies who are interested in being good and compliant corporate citizens. The most notable of these carrots is, of course, the DOJ’s Pilot Program on self-disclosure announced in April of this year. This, along with the ISO’s published anti-bribery standard (ISO 37001) – which many companies have already taken to heart in the reworking of their internal compliance policies – should provide companies with adequate positive incentives to adjust to the new, less forgiving reality in the international regulatory arena. That instituting proactive internal compliance and DOJ-cooperative self-disclosure measures can be the salvation of a company’s bottom-line and reputation was illustrated decisively in last month’s historic Harris Corp declination.
Translation and eDiscovery | E-Discovery + Agile LSP = SEC Declination!
An important two-fold lesson that many companies with a similar degree of international exposure to that of Harris Corp have already learned, is that their efforts to ensure intra-company and third-party FCPA compliance are greatly enhanced when they or their outside legal counsel choose to;
1) Make use of a high-end eDiscovery software platform; and
2) Partner with an agile Language Service Provider (LSP) who can design an effective compliance translation strategy in line with their goals.
Whether a company chooses to handle such on-going compliance and due diligence measures internally or under the guidance of outside counsel, employing an eDiscovery platform has become essential to a comprehensive GRC strategy that can head off punitive FCPA actions even before they begin. Internally, a company’s compliance staff or outside counsel can make use of the eDiscovery platform’s sophisticated analytical tools to search and analyze company data such as emails and other electronic records stored on internal servers to quickly identify potentially incriminating evidence. Even more powerful eDiscovery data visualization tools can be used to conduct due diligence on third parties who are part of the company’s international supply chain, often the repository of corrupt dealings. For such searches and processing of third-party data in foreign languages, the eDiscovery platform must be Unicode enabled, a feature of several high-end brands. However, when it comes to more advanced analytics and data visualization tools in foreign languages, not all eDiscovery platforms are created equal.
Partnering with an agile LSP that is not only skilled in the craft of delivering timely, accurate legal translations rendered by a native speaker, but is also wise to the worlds of eDiscovery and compliance, can give a company or law firm an additional layer of security and peace of mind as they execute on their international GRC strategy. Of course many of the essential internal compliance tasks that take place in a company’s international offices that require translation – eLearning courses for employees and partners, and company codes of conduct – do not require any processing by an eDiscovery application. But when significant amounts of internal and external foreign language data needs to be processed and reviewed quickly either because of a proactive M & A due diligence matter or as a response to a FCPA challenge, it is essential for a company or law firm to have a clear translation strategy in place with an agile LSP either orchestrating or supporting it.
Translation and eDiscovery | The Language Connections Nexus
In such matters, Language Connections, Inc, can either serve as a ‘full’ partner or simply play a supporting role. As a general rule of thumb, when large amounts of foreign language data needs to be processed for a FCPA or other compliance case, the following simple 3-stage procedure is most advisable:
- Documents which your staff has targeted as of potential import should be Machine Translated in order to gain the ‘gist’ of their content. This has the added benefit of being both quick and inexpensive. But for this stage to work properly, only the highest quality MT engine should be used (i.e. no Google Translate)
- Summaries which demonstrate the context of relevant documents should be prepared for your legal staff to review in order to determine which are worthy of full translation
- Documents selected for ‘human’ translation are delivered to the LSP for complete, certified translation services
For any of our clients who are without full eDiscovery support (Platform, Hosting, TAR), or do not have access to a high quality Machine Translation engine, we are able in the majority of cases to devise a solution that will solve their requirements. For those who fall into this category, we can offer the following solutions:
Although we have been very impressed with the range of foreign language and review tools inherent in the Catalyst platform, and appreciate Recommind’s refinement of their FCPA functionalities, we chose to become a part of the Relativity Ecosystem for a multitude of reasons. Apart from the benefits of Relativity’s ubiquitousness in the eDiscovery ecosphere, the primary draw is the robustness and extensibility of their constantly evolving platform, as well as the vitality of Relativity’s active Developer Partner community (which of course are the two sides of the dynamic Relativity coin).
An additional benefit of this dynamic community for Language Connections is our ability to offer Premium Hosting Services and other customized workflow functionalities to our clients on an As-Needed Basis
Machine Translation Support
As a Systran Partner the only Machine Translation engine that we could possibly offer our clients is the unquestioned leader in MT technology and Natural Language processing for nearly 50 years. For clients who have significant current or anticipated foreign language processing needs and seek an additional layer of security, we provide the option of installing a Systran Enterprise Server behind their firewall. This also gives our clients access to the Systran Relativity Connector 2.0, which affords them the ability to upgrade their Relativity experience with a number of additional multi-lingual analytical and Big Data processing tools that will greatly enhance their foreign language search and discovery capabilities.
Want more information on how translation can work with your regulatory compliance needs? Check out the following pages:
About Language Connections:
Language Connections is one of the top language service companies in the US. Over the last 30 years, we’ve focused on providing the best business translation services, interpreting services, as well as interpreter training and customized language training programs. In addition to top-tier corporate language training, we offer certified corporate interpreters and professional business translation services in 200+ languages. Our network includes linguists with backgrounds in all major industries. They’re ready to meet your needs, whether they’re for technical translation services, legal translation, government translation services, international development translation services, education translation services, life sciences translation, or something else. Reach out to us today for a free quote on our cost-efficient and timely translation services, interpreters, or other linguistic services.
Language Connections Inc.
2001 Beacon Street, Suite 105
Boston, MA 02135